The past few days have witnessed an inimical and somewhat a pugnacious inclination by Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat to undertake the kind of military action, which marks emphatic deviance from previous Indian military leadership. Before the appointment of General Bipin Rawat, previous generals were cautious to acknowledge the presence of Cold-Start Doctrine. The more emboldened stance requests a keen study of the changing Indian position from that desiring a status-quo position in the strategic environment, to the one proactively pursuing revisionist goals. Three such developments merit attention: First, in 2017, General Bipin Rawat publicly acknowledged the existence of Cold Start Doctrine, the first time by any Indian military commander. Second, a recent statement by General Rawat, calling to undertake cross-border attacks by calling Pakistan’s nuclear bluff. Third, a categorical denunciation of preservation of the status quo by the Indian military. The holistic appraisal of the ongoing change in the Indian approach solicits attention and study. The first statement indicates a shift is establishing deviance in current behaviour of India. It also indicates an endorsement to undertake a limited war under the nuclear umbrella. However, it is certainly disputable that such a war, when applied under actual circumstances, will not expand into a total war between two nuclear-armed neighbours. The second statement, when linked with the first statement, indicates the classic optimism-bias of a military planner, that rather see a military action to be unilateral rather than dynamic, and are less deposed to foresee the undesired consequence of a particular course of action. Even, Clausewitz admonished against reliance on such unilateral planning, which due to disruptive acts of the adversary, can be compromised. Clausewitz termed this as elements of the chaos of war. The third is also linked, and categorically delineates acceptance of a revisionist position by India in the region. By acknowledging that the Indian army is actively seeking to modify its doctrines will constitute in an internal pressure to act upon doctrines that are likely self-destructive. In ‘Not War, Not Peace’, George Perkovich and Toby Dalton contemplated an array of military measures at the disposal of India to use against Pakistan. But after exhaustive analysis of each measure, Perkovich and Dalton were convinced that these moves would be futile In their book, ‘Not War, Not Peace’, George Perkovich and Toby Dalton contemplated an array of military measures at the disposal of India to coerce Pakistan. However, on the contrary, after an exhaustive analysis of each measure, Perkovich and Dalton appeared convinced at the futility of employing these moves, and were correct to point out at the escalatory tendency of each military action, which rather than serving the escalation dominance goals will serve to fuel further escalation between India and Pakistan. Moreover, given the presence of fuming emotions among the public at each side of the border, respective political leadership and militaries are unlikely to be immune to mounting pressure to assuage public’s frustration in such an interaction. Such interaction will only place more incentive for escalation than the pursuit of a rational political objective. Moreover, these developments are coming at a time, wherein the last year, Indian political leadership and former political advisor, Shivshankar Menon, have placed the onus on the possible and first-use of nuclear weapons. This is rather more alarming when India’s nuclear doctrine asserts the use of nuclear weapons in response to the use of ‘chemical and biological weapons’. It becomes further alarming, when current political debate, calls for are vision of the existing declared commitment to No-First-Use. Furthermore, the military interaction between two neighbours with an adversarial history is in itself a fact to deny an overbearing reliance on a misleading belief that Pakistan is using nuclear bluff. And that too, in the backdrop of a nuclear-reality, that both Pakistan and India possess nuclear weapons. Similarly, without concrete evidence, interactions between nuclear-armed neighbours are not going to stay confined to a self-fulfilling prophecy in a course. And, thus, remain subject to a dangerous and self-defeating gambit. All such developments are taking place in a vacuum of any dialogue between India and Pakistan. General Rawat had spoken in favour of apolitical solution to Kashmir issue. However, such solution cannot be reached by discounting Pakistan as a stakeholder. Moreover, just as it suits a wing to make run for a try in a contest of Rugby, similarly, diplomacy is a forte left best to diplomats. India needs to realise there is more good than harm for the region in reviving a comprehensive diplomatic dialogue with Pakistan. The writer is a researcher at Islamabad Policy Research Institute; he can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, January 29th 2018.